A Division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Heinemann

Climb Inside a Poem

Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year

Georgia Heard, Lester L. Laminack, Emeritus, Western Carolina University

ISBN 978-0-325-00983-4 / 0-325-00983-X / 2007 / 260pp / Bundle
Imprint: FirstHand
Availability: In Stock
Grade Level: K - 2nd
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Children are natural poets. They speak poetry all day long. They say wonderful poetic gems that surprise and delight us and help us look at the world in a new way. In Climb Inside a Poem: Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year, Georgia Heard and Lester Laminack tap into this natural inclination and demonstrate how reading and writing poetry can also support and extend young children's language and literacy development. Through an anthology of original children's poems and related lessons, Georgia and Lester describe how to weave poetry into the fabric of a school day by reading a variety of poems for a variety of purposes. Building on these experiences, children then engage in a formal unit of study on writing poetry.

Climb Inside a Poem
has three components.

  • The poetry anthology, Climb Inside a Poem: Original Poems for Children, uses the writings of contemporary children’s poets, whimsical illustrations, and an expansive big book format (14”x18”) to create a 36-page poetry playground.
  • Lessons for Climb Inside a Poem provides a five-day sequence of lessons for each poem in the anthology. Through repeated readings and by accessing the poems from multiple perspectives, these lessons model how poetry can be used to support basic concepts in print, develop word awareness, expand reading and writing fluency, and help children write with feeling and voice. 
  • Reading and Writing Poetry Across the Year takes a broad view of poetry and considers how poems can be used to reinforce and extend a literacy curriculum. Organized into three separate sections, the minilessons in this guide offer tips for outfitting and organizing classrooms where poetry can flourish; highlight a variety of reading strategies that immerse children in the words and music of poetry; and present a complete unit of study for writing poetry.

Instruction in Climb Inside a Poem is organized around 29 poems by acclaimed children’s authors. (listed in order of appearance)

  • Where Do I Find Poetry? by Georgia Heard
  • Sky Wish by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Happy Toes by Pat Mora
  • Dear Friend in the Desert by Kristine O’Connell George
  • Tooth Truth by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Quack, Quack by Pat Mora
  • Why? Why? Why? by Lee Bennett Hopkins
  • Who’s Coming to Tea? by Jane Yolen
  • Making Soup by Marilyn Singer
  • How I Hopscotch by Kristine O’Connell George
  • When I Ride My Bike by Patricia Hubbell
  • School Bus Lady by J. Patrick Lewis
  • Poem for My Friend by Patricia Hubbell
  • Best Friend by Marilyn Singer
  • Birthday Candles by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
  • Song for My Swing by Patricia Hubbell
  • The Stray Dog by Alice Schertle          
  • Puppy Love by Jane Yolen
  • Just Like Grandpa by Alice Schertle
  • Happy Teeth by J. Patrick Lewis
  • The Cedar Tree by Joseph Bruchac
  • Laundromat by X. J. Kennedy
  • Emma by Janet Wong
  • Spring Riddles by Beverly McLoughland
  • Sun and Moon: A Poem for Two Voices by Bobbi Katz
  • Singing Down the Sun by Marilyn Singer
  • Hey, Crow! by Deborah Chandra
  • Hidden Treasure by Bobbi Katz
  • Night Story by Beverly McLoughland                                       

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